Blackboard has announced the availability of Blackboard Mobile Learn for Blackberry, Android and iPhone OS powered devices across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, bringing two-way teaching and learning to mobile devices and giving millions of students full access to their course information directly from their smartphones.
Blackboard’s existing Blackboard Mobile Central application already delivers a mobile campus experience that includes news, events, maps and sports amongst a range of student life and service options. Blackboard Mobile Learn takes the next step by bringing the classroom experience and learning content to the mobile environment, providing campuses with a high quality option to quickly meet the growing demand from students who want to do more with their smartphones and other web-enabled devices.
Like the iPad version, the new Blackboard Mobile Learn app is available to download for free in app stores. It recreates and enriches the course experience of Blackboard Learn, the online teaching and learning platform, in native applications designed specifically for each mobile platform. With the apps, students can check grades and assignments, email their classmates and instructors, add discussion board comments and blog posts and more.
“We’re delighted that Blackboard’s mobile solutions come from an educational background and are clearly being developed to meet student needs,” said Aline Hayes, director of IT at Sheffield Hallam, the first European institution to implement Blackboard Mobile Learn. “We don’t see our students reading 1,000 page reports on mobile devices, but we do anticipate them using their devices to keep up to date with campus life, participating in online discussions, checking for notifications, and sharing ideas with other course members. These activities are common amongst students in other online communities but which haven’t previously been leveraged in an environment that supports mobile learning.”
Developed by Blackboard’s dedicated mobile team, Blackboard Mobile Learn is currently available in native applications designed for some of the world’s top mobile platforms and devices including Android and BlackBerry smartphones as well as the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Blackboard Mobile Central is available on Apple and BlackBerry devices and through the mobile web, expanding access beyond smartphones to a range of web-enabled phones and mobile devices.
“Blackboard’s mobile solutions are already helping students worldwide find their way around campus, check directories and catch up with news and events,” said Kayvon Beykpour, vice president of Blackboard Mobile. “The evolution of mobile devices has created so many opportunities, particularly for mobile learning and overall student engagement, and with Blackboard Mobile Learn we’re very focused on bringing two-way teaching and learning to the mobile phone.”